The "war" with the muslim world started long time ago. It's just recently they've had the onions to become more offensive, and the day of reckoning is looming. The time for the linguini-spined vacillators to stand aside. Your approach to solving the problem is no longer valid.
The time for "meaningful" sanctions, like cutting off their supply of imported gasoline totally. A complete blockade that seriously stops all economy. And a lock on all their financial activities outside their borders.
If the non-muslim world can't see the dangers this murderous regime poses, and supports a complete close down of that nations activities, then a physical war will be inevitible.
When the one you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.
Wolfowitz and the neo-cons proposed a policy of action based on capability to threaten rather than based on actual threat. That was the fundamental justification for the invasion of Iraq. However, it actually represents a policy of action based on prejudice since there are many countries that threaten us more, based on the combination of capability and hostility, than Iran. And, as I noted before, if I were Iran, my target would be the Saudi and Iraqi oil fields long before I worried about Israel. However, I do not think there is a serious first strike threat from Iran. The government does not have that level of control over the country. I do believe that it would act forcefully against Saudi Arabia and Israel in response to an attack and doubt our ability to prevent such attacks from being effective. It is also possible that they would follow our own logic of preemptive strikes in the event that the threat of Israeli or American action appeared imminent.
From the government's perspective, such actions would not involve significantly more risk than waiting around to be buried under the rubble as you suggest. Saddam Hussein fundamentally believed that the US would not attack. He destroyed his WMD reserves, but never publicized that fact because of his fear that it would encourage dissident forces within the country. Iran knows that our ability to act against it is finite, but too great to risk a first strike. But if we are going to strike first anyway, there is no reason at all for them to hold back. Even if we prevail, the cost will dwarf the cost of the Iraq war and neither our bankers nor our taxpayers will support the effort.
One problem with that is that the strategy of 'mutual assured destruction' assumes that the understanding is binding between two rational entities. That may be a far stretch with Iran, especially, as you pointed out, the gov't does NOT have a firm level of control over the country, or more correctly, the country does not have control over its government! The threat of destruction does not jive with self-perceived martyrdom of one of the players.
Perhaps the old trick of finding Iran's top nuclear scientists and engineers, and making them offers "they can't refuse" would work. Just defuse their program with a systemic brain drain.
God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!
The other part of the equation that messes up the MAD rationale is that the country being attacked has the capacity to respond in-kind and also destroy the attacker (or have a proxy do it for them). Israel's got some nukes for sure, but they're not on subs, in bombers around-the-clock, or sitting atop ballistic missles. In the event of an Iranian first strike, Israel likely wouldn't have the time necessary to mount more than a nominal nuke response (if at all). That means that the United States must be the guarantors of a nuke response to Iran. Does anyone really believe Obama would pull that trigger? I don't think for one minute he would. And even if he did, it would be a half-measure, token response..."Well, Iran delivered three nukes to Israel, we must respond with three."
I'll take the river down to still water and ride a pack of dogs.
First, to quote W. Andrew Terrill of the Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College, "Iran, despite the zealotry and bombast of some of its leaders, has shown a consistent ability to conduct rational, national interest-based defense and foreign policies that would avoid deliberately provoking a nuclear war against their country." (See http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute...les/PUB854.pdf)
Second, the ability of Iran to launch an attack on Israel that would be sufficient to prevent nuclear retaliation by Israel at a level sufficient to destroy Iran depends on four things:
Israel does not actually require any support from the US to destroy Iran in the event of an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel. Obviously, however, Israel would also be destroyed in the process. That brings up a further deterrent to an Iranian nuclear attack. Such an attack would inevitably destroy Jerusalem -- one of the most holy cities of Islam -- and the majority of the West Bank Palestinian population.
- Development of a multiple, viable nuclear warheads by Iran. This is years away.
- Multiple solid fuel missiles with the range needed. It is possible that Iran now has at least some of these based on its joint development projects with China and North Korea
- Guidance systems and intelligence to be able to locate and destroy Israeli missile silos. It's not clear that Iran has either.
- The ability to penetrate Israel's anti-missile defense system quickly enough to prevent response. This doesn't even appear to be close.
I believe that diplomatic and military strategies can delay Iran's development of a nuclear capability, but cannot prevent it. We should maintain those efforts, but ultimately we will be dealing with a nuclear Iran unless there is a fundamental change in its political make-up. That change will not happen through war.
I'm still waiting to hear the military strategy that you believe would allow us to neutralize Iran (without losing Israel, Saudi oil, and possibly Iraqi oil in the process) and also your suggestions of how we will pay for that war and for the consequences of that war. Bombast makes for great theater, but poor military judgment. Let us not once again make the naive assumption that if we act, the Iranian people will miraculously overthrow their government and welcome us with flowers in hand.
What does Iran have to fear from the US? We are in the process of destroying ourselves in so many ways:
- We are bleeding the country white by funding two major wars simultaneously, while giving the Fortunate Few big tax cuts.
- We have effectively transferred our jobs and manufacturing to China-- killing our economic base in the process.
- We have failed to develop a sane energy policy in every administration since the 1973 Arab boycott. We still are hemorrhaging national treasure at an alarming rate to run our gas guzzlers.
- Our banking system nearly destroyed the country with financial fictions aided and abetted by the government's failure to provide oversight--all in the name of smaller government.
- The country is seeing the rise of the Tea Baggers and other assorted coyotes that are openly preaching secession, insurrection, and civil war.
- The Congress has been reduced to band of bickering four year olds, that is way too busy calling names than being interested in working for the good of the Republic.
If I were Ahmadinejad, I'd not fear.
Last edited by zeus3925; 02-16-2010 at 08:39 AM.
I don't want to feed an ugly dog!